Namibia’s National Assembly has passed a bill to regulate digital assets, cryptocurrencies, and digital asset service providers (VASPs) in the country. The Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises, Ipumbu Shiimi, introduced the Virtual Asset Bill in the parliament house in June. This bill aims to protect consumers, prevent market abuse, and mitigate risks such as financial terrorism and money laundering.
To operate as a VASP, individuals must have a registered and licensed company in Namibia and maintain a registered office for transaction records. The legislation also aims to appoint a regulator in charge of monitoring VASPs and the services they provide. The bill states that non-compliance with the rules can result in fines of up to $10 million or imprisonment for up to 10 years.
Additionally, the legislation wants to designate a regulatory authority in charge of monitoring VASPs and the services they provide. The Regulatory Authority has the right to assign investigators, make rules, issue instructions, conduct enforcement actions against license holders and other individuals, publish guidelines, set fees, and advise the Minister on all issues related to virtual assets, among other things.
On the other hand, the Bank of Namibia (BON) has warned that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender, and individuals dealing with crypto are fully responsible for their actions. The legislation has been welcomed as a means to reduce fraud and money laundering risks while promoting a well-regulated digital asset ecosystem that encourages innovation.
In addition, on June 30, the South Korean Parliament introduced the “Virtual Asset User Protection” bill to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. The bill aims to prevent incidents like the Terra LUNA collapse. A joint task force meeting was held, and the National Assembly ordered a research service for the second stage of legislation, which may cover market-related issues.
Meanwhile, the UK has also passed the Financial Services and Markets Bill 2023, granting regulatory oversight of crypto assets and stablecoins. This move aims to strengthen the economy, provide a clear rulebook for financial services, and attract crypto companies amid legal challenges in the US.
The recent wave of regulations implemented by countries like Namibia, South Korea, and the UK about digital assets and cryptocurrencies reflects a growing recognition of the positive potential of these technologies. These regulations aim to establish a well-regulated ecosystem that safeguards consumers, prevents market abuse, reduces fraud and money laundering risks, and encourages innovation.